England flyer Jonny May and team-mates Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder and Paul Doran-Jones are all investors in the American-inspired Grillshed which is set to open on the city’s Main Basin waterfront in October.
Beef brisket and pulled pork burgers will be served up alongside the likes of seared tuna steak and a range of salads. Gluten free options like buttermilk chicken will also be available from a kitchen run by Californian chef Shane McBagley.
The idea has been months in the planning and building work has just started on the site, next to Dr Fosters.
Henry Trinder, Paul Doran-Jones and Jonny May
Mr Doran-Jones said he is delighted to be bringing something to the city that has given him so much having returned to the Cherry and Whites for a second spell last season.
“Gloucester has really been getting things going in terms of its regeneration and, having been away and come back again, it’s clear to see how much progress is being made,” he said.
“It was an easy decision for us because the city gives us so much and it was very easy for us all to fall in love with the project and identify with it.
“We’ve all probably been guilty, me included, of going away from Gloucester as a squad for days out and places to eat and it will be brilliant for us to have somewhere like this to be able to go as a team and also just to give something back to the city because we get so much from it in terms of our bread and butter.”
He said the restaurant’s ethos will be on barbecue-style food, but with a healthy edge.
“There’s a lot of people in Gloucester looking for good, healthy, tasty, trendy food,” he said. “As a front-row forward, I love my food and it’s also great to see independents thriving – Greek on the Docks is doing really well so we’re delighted to be carrying that on.”
The players will be seen regularly at the restaurant, particularly after matches, he said but they won’t be taking a day-to-day role in its running.
The four Cherry and White stars, with Mr Doran-Jones as the venture’s chairman, have teamed up with Gloucester-based former Team GB volleyball player Jody Gooding and a team of businessman including Barry Chandler, who runs Montpellier Lodge restaurant in Cheltenham, and Joby Mortimer who is drinks company Budvar’s UK on sale trade director.
Grillshed’s interior has been designed by Bristol-based Simple Simon, with surfboards or longboards one idea that could form part of the décor.
Outdoor seating will be included in Merchants Quay.
It’s being hailed as a massive vote of confidence for Gloucester by those involved.
Mr Sharples, born and bred in Gloucester, said he is proud to be involved.
“As a local player I am not just passionate about Gloucester Rugby but also the city itself,” he said. “I am thrilled to be part of this exciting venture which will bring something fresh and different to the Quays.”
Craft beers and ciders, premium spirits and a wine list will be served too.
It’s the latest addition to the city’s waterfront area, with more set to come. Major redevelopment plans are in the pipeline for the buildings along Commercial Road, next to the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, to become a series of upmarket restaurants and cafes and Greek on the Docks has already opened close to where The Grillshed will go.
The Grillshed team have big ideas for the future too – the Gloucester restaurant will be a flagship site as they hope to roll out the brand across the UK.
Mr Gooding, who lived in California for a time as a volleyball player, said the Grillshed’s offering will boost Gloucester as a whole.
“Me and Paul (Doran-Jones) met at the start of the year and talked about what we thought Gloucester was missing and this kind of restaurant was what we both want,” he said.
“To see it happening is fantastic, we are so excited about it and we’re in a great location too – hopefully it will help both the Docks and the city centre to really thrive.”
Keep up to speed with developments on Twitter, Instagram (@Grillshed) and at www.thegrillshed.com
Article kindly published on on GloucestershireLive